We Go Bounty Hunting: Minority Cops Allege Illegal Arrest Quotas
In an exclusive interview with NBC New York in March going viral now in the light of the recent Dallas shootout, ten policemen of “NYPD 12” talk about their class action suit against the New York Police Department (NYPD) that enforces “illegal arrest quotas” on minority officers. The twelve black and Latino cops came out in September last year with allegations that they were forced to make more arrests in their minority precincts (LGBT, Black, Hispanic) than their white counterparts for no reason other than to fulfill an arbitrary, discriminatory quota.
The Police Commissioner, when asked to issue a statement in response, literally retorted by claiming their accusation as “bullshit”. However, last week, veteran NYPD Detective Derick Wallace, who was also one of the cops who spoke out in the interview, claims he was ‘punished’ by his superiors, and demoted to a foot post– after 22 years of service.
“Racially Discriminatory and Illegal Mandatory Enforcement Activity”
The main claim of the lawsuit is that the NYPD continues to violate, to this day, a 2010 state ban on quotas. Despite the Police Commissioner’s claim that officers are only evaluated based on the quality of their work and number of arrests made, these police officers continue to hold their ground.
It’s illegal and it’s immoral and it’s unethical so they can never admit to it. But it exists and it’s very real.Edwin Raymond, NYPD veteran to NBC New York
Not only are these police officers asked to make more arrests in their “minority communities” simply because they’re more vulnerable, the police officers themselves face racially discriminatory behaviour when they refuse to target their own people to fill up illegal “summons, tickets or number of arrests.”
Raymond has been recording his calls for the last two years to prove that these quotas exist. In fact, he goes so far as to say that white neighbourhoods are actually policed, while they are forced to go “hunting” in minority neighbourhoods to make at least one arrest and issue 20 summons a month.
They’ll tell you to your face: blacks, Hispanics, from 14 to 21, they must get stopped. We’re the predators. They’re the prey. The worst thing you can have is a police officer that needs an arrest for the month. There’s no discretion.”Pedro Serrano, NYPD Officer to NBC New York
After two high profile shootings of unarmed black men, followed by the Dallas shootout where a former US soldier killed five policemen, the debate on arrest quotas has resurfaced by Black Lives Matter campaigners. Between cries of hatred for the police who overstepped their boundaries and the person who killed the policemen, these black and hispanic policemen are often caught in the crossfire, especially when their hand is forced. They must either arrest random people on the sides of roads or face harsh personal and professional repercussions.
The state of New York and the NYPD continue to claim that no such quotas exist and petitioned the Manhattan Federal Court in January this year to waive off the plaintiffs’ complaints. The judgement on this lawsuit is due in the next two months.